Staying at home is the norm... What are you reading?

Agema

You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver
Legacy
Mar 3, 2009
8,286
5,654
118
I've read the claim that the rate decreased in light of the Catholic Church discouraging the practice.
Maybe.

The late Roman Empire set rules on cosanguinity as four degrees minimum (i.e. just beyond first cousins). After the empire, the civil law of many medieval states was more relaxed about consanguinity, and many European states remain at three degrees even now.

The Catholic Church kept with the Roman model, however, even eventually extending it to seven degrees. However, this was both completely impractical, and also a money-making scam (as the Church could gouge the nobility by letting them buy an exemption to four). Eventually they were forced to return to four.
 

Hades

Elite Member
Mar 8, 2013
1,513
871
118
Country
The Netherlands
I've picked up a book about William of Orange. Its about a thousand pages long.
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 4, 2014
8,293
1,393
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
Star Wars: The High Republic - Into the Dark (4/5)

Another High Republci novel, but this time meant for YA rather than JF, and it's a differnece that's appreciated. Actually takes place at the same time as the last one, with the hyperspace disaster causing a ship to dock at an abandoned space station. Cue weird stuff that involves man-eating plants.

Anyway, it's pretty decent - flows well enough, has some decent characters, and has Geode, who's the MVP. All hail Geode.
 

Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
Legacy
Escapist +
Feb 9, 2008
8,969
4,113
118
A Barrel In the Marketplace
Country
Eagleland
Gender
Male
Been listening to HP Lovecraft audiobooks while I go on mid-day walks and during long car rides.

A couple things I noticed that came to mind.

-For all his racism and Anglophilia, the man could be surprisingly fair to non-whiteys at times. In the "Haunter of the Dark" in Particular, the entire plot is basically that WASP main character Blake, despite being told by the local Italians that it's a REALLY BAD IDEA to go poking around in the BIG DARK CREEPY ASS CHURCH on federal hill, does so anyway and releases the titular eldritch horror, that is deterred by light. One night when the power goes out all over the city because of a big storm, white boy is hiding in his room watching the distant church through the storm while the Italians are gathered in the rain and wind with candles and flashlights desperately tying to keep the thing in the church confined there until the power can come back on. Basically, the Italians come across as the heros in this story while WASP MC fucks around and finds out, and this was written in an era when Italians weren't really considered white by a lot of people, mostly because of their catholicism and just racism in general. The Narrative even gives them credit for doing their utmost to keep the damn thing contained while Blake cowers in his room and it feels like at one point there's this implicit "I could go out there too and stand with them, but I don't wanna"

Also the Old Ones in "At the Mountains of Madness", despite being aliens, are treated sympathetically by the narrator and at one point he even calls them "Men of a different sort, but they were men", a complimentary way. These are the same aliens that in earlier stories are treated as terrible, mysterious gods.

Just to be clear, the man was fucking racist and this is not meant to say he wasn't, but rather that he showed some surprisingly decency towards others in some of his later stories and it feels like at times he was becoming a little less racist in his writings, so take that as you will.

-In the Mountains of Madness, the Narrator is weirdly an expert in everything despite openly saying he's a geologist numerous times. This is fine except they spend a couple hours in an ancient alien city near the south pole and somehow manage to deduce most of their history from reading the numerous carvings and artwork on the walls, which comes across as weird when you remember he's not an expert in ancient iconography, much less ALIEN iconography and he got a couple of hours to mess around in those ancient ruins with his buddy. I realize it works for storytelling purposes but it feels weird on retrospect when he talks about "Well, I can tell by how decadent the artwork was getting that their civilization was going downhill", despite literally just having discovered these ancient ruins that same day and being one of the first people in human history to see any of this. But he's like an expert on it just by scanning over it.

For reference, we barely know anything about some human civilizations that existed a couple thousand years ago(like the Minoans on Crete) but a few hours in million year old Alien ruins, yep, we deduced their entire fucking history from looking at the walls. I know Lovecraft was a bookworm and I could swear he'd read at least a couple books on archaeology(Ancient Egypt was very, very popular in the 1920's, with finding King Tut's tomb and all that) so you'd think he'd know it's a bit more complex than he's making it sound.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Hawki

Drathnoxis

Artificial Person
Legacy
Sep 23, 2010
4,204
966
118
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Been listening to HP Lovecraft audiobooks while I go on mid-day walks and during long car rides.

A couple things I noticed that came to mind.

-For all his racism and Anglophilia, the man could be surprisingly fair to non-whiteys at times. In the "Haunter of the Dark" in Particular, the entire plot is basically that WASP main character Blake, despite being told by the local Italians that it's a REALLY BAD IDEA to go poking around in the BIG DARK CREEPY ASS CHURCH on federal hill, does so anyway and releases the titular eldritch horror, that is deterred by light. One night when the power goes out all over the city because of a big storm, white boy is hiding in his room watching the distant church through the storm while the Italians are gathered in the rain and wind with candles and flashlights desperately tying to keep the thing in the church confined there until the power can come back on. Basically, the Italians come across as the heros in this story while WASP MC fucks around and finds out, and this was written in an era when Italians weren't really considered white by a lot of people, mostly because of their catholicism and just racism in general. The Narrative even gives them credit for doing their utmost to keep the damn thing contained while Blake cowers in his room and it feels like at one point there's this implicit "I could go out there too and stand with them, but I don't wanna"

Also the Old Ones in "At the Mountains of Madness", despite being aliens, are treated sympathetically by the narrator and at one point he even calls them "Men of a different sort, but they were men", a complimentary way. These are the same aliens that in earlier stories are treated as terrible, mysterious gods.

Just to be clear, the man was fucking racist and this is not meant to say he wasn't, but rather that he showed some surprisingly decency towards others in some of his later stories and it feels like at times he was becoming a little less racist in his writings, so take that as you will.

-In the Mountains of Madness, the Narrator is weirdly an expert in everything despite openly saying he's a geologist numerous times. This is fine except they spend a couple hours in an ancient alien city near the south pole and somehow manage to deduce most of their history from reading the numerous carvings and artwork on the walls, which comes across as weird when you remember he's not an expert in ancient iconography, much less ALIEN iconography and he got a couple of hours to mess around in those ancient ruins with his buddy. I realize it works for storytelling purposes but it feels weird on retrospect when he talks about "Well, I can tell by how decadent the artwork was getting that their civilization was going downhill", despite literally just having discovered these ancient ruins that same day and being one of the first people in human history to see any of this. But he's like an expert on it just by scanning over it.

For reference, we barely know anything about some human civilizations that existed a couple thousand years ago(like the Minoans on Crete) but a few hours in million year old Alien ruins, yep, we deduced their entire fucking history from looking at the walls. I know Lovecraft was a bookworm and I could swear he'd read at least a couple books on archaeology(Ancient Egypt was very, very popular in the 1920's, with finding King Tut's tomb and all that) so you'd think he'd know it's a bit more complex than he's making it sound.
I listened to a bunch of Lovecraft audio books a couple of years ago, and maybe this reflects poorly on me, but I don't remember anything especially racist in any of them.
 

Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
Legacy
Escapist +
Feb 9, 2008
8,969
4,113
118
A Barrel In the Marketplace
Country
Eagleland
Gender
Male
I listened to a bunch of Lovecraft audio books a couple of years ago, and maybe this reflects poorly on me, but I don't remember anything especially racist in any of them.
There's a couple of them which are either implicitly or explicitly racist. One of of the most infamous is "The Rats in the Walls" where the Narrators Black Cat has a very unfortunate name Niggerman(really, Howard? Really? Of all the Black Cat names you went with THAT?) but the Call of Cthulhu has a lot of references to "Mongrel" and "Half Breed" types(Who all have dark skin, BTW), who are all bad and evil and trying to raise evil gods and such.
 

Drathnoxis

Artificial Person
Legacy
Sep 23, 2010
4,204
966
118
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
There's a couple of them which are either implicitly or explicitly racist. One of of the most infamous is "The Rats in the Walls" where the Narrators Black Cat has a very unfortunate name Niggerman(really, Howard? Really? Of all the Black Cat names you went with THAT?) but the Call of Cthulhu has a lot of references to "Mongrel" and "Half Breed" types(Who all have dark skin, BTW), who are all bad and evil and trying to raise evil gods and such.
I'll listen to Call of Cthulhu again sometime but I'm not really sure what's so bad about the name of the cat, given historical context. It was a commonly used word at the time. It's no worse than Tard the cat (yes, they say it's short for Tarter sauce, but still) and it was an international icon.
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 4, 2014
8,293
1,393
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
The Man Who Invented the Twentieth Century: Nikola Tesla, forgotten genius of electricity (3/5)

Basically a biography on Nikola Tesla. It's okay. TBH, a lot of the technical stuff went over my head. If you want me to explain the difference between DC and AC for instance, I'm not the person to do it.

A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth: 4.6 Billion Years in 12 Chapters (3/5)

As far as non-fiction goes, this was more up my alley. As the title summizes, basically the history of life on Earth, from its origins to the present day. A lot of the material covered stuff I was already generally familiar with, and it doesn't go too in-depth, but it gets the job done. It certainly gets somber towards the end, claiming that not only is human extinction inevitable, but there won't even be evidence that we even existed in the fossil record. Not even the chemicals we've emittled are likely to be anything more than a barely discernable blip in Earth's geological history.
 

09philj

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 31, 2015
1,909
620
118
Transmetropolitan #1-#12
Dark and nasty but sly and satirical cyberpunk from writer Warren Ellis and penciler Darick Robertson, along with several different inkers and colourists. I'm not exactly tripping over my feet in a rush to suck Ellis's dick, because he has been accused of being sexually coercive by a lot of women, but Transmetropolitan is very good, so far. The main character Spider Jerusalem is pretty much just Hunter S Thompson taken a few hundred years into the future. He's a compelling man to follow as he veers wildly between being a tireless champion of the downtrodden, a self righteous bastard, and a dangerously unstable lunatic armed with a gun that can give people anal prolapses as he desperately attempts to meet his publishing deadlines. Also Robertson's art is very good, with Spider's character design being a standout feature.
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 4, 2014
8,293
1,393
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
Population 10 Billion: The Demographic Crisis and How to Solve It (3/5)

I'm mixed with this book. Its title says one thing, but the book's content is more along the lines of "crisis? What crisis," and instead rails against everything OTHER than population. Which, okay, sure - overconsumption is a far more pressing issue to the planet than overpopulation. If that was the crux of the issue and how to solve it, then I might be more reciprocal to its content, but the author's wearing his politics on his shoulder (hard left), so that means you have claims that aren't too unreasonable (e.g. more equitable wealth distribution), to eyebrow raising (he claims that eastern Europe's low fertility rates are because of the legacy of communist planning, and ergo, has significant praise for the USSR), to the questionable (e.g. the statements that slavery didn't exist in the Americas until the Europeans came, or that the reason population growth was so low in much of the world was because of family planning). That's, um, a pretty big assumption (one that stands in contrast to the idea of demographic transition, and various other empires that were sparked by overpopulation in part, such as the Mongols or Umayads). Granted, he's the professor and I'm not, but a lot of the assertions fly in the face of everything I understood about demographic history, and, well, I can't say I was swayed.

Anyway, maybe if you're part of the choir this is preaching to, this book is for you. However, for me, I didn't get much out of it. It doesn't really look at population, nor overconsumption, and the book's riddled with questionable claims.
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 4, 2014
8,293
1,393
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
Doctor Who: Diamond Dogs (3/5)

The Doctor and Bill end up on a space station orbiting Saturn in the 5th millennium. Suffice to say, things go to hell, very quickly.

Mixed on this one. The weird thing is, the Doctor and Bill almost feel out of place, in that the book has a fairly solid grasp on science, whereas DW is generally science fantasy. As in, the station harvests diamonds from Saturn, as certain elements descend through the clouds, the pressure of Saturn's atmosphere turns them into diamonds. I forget the actual process in detail, but it's a process that has a basis in science, and there's actual theories that such diamonds could be found in the atmosphere of gas giants.

Anyway, it's a decent read.

Doctor Who: Plague City (3/5)

Really not fond of this one. In general, I prefer DW future stories to historical ones. Heck, even present stories to historical ones. And suffice to say, this book didn't change my opinion.

The Doctor, Bill, and Nardole end up in Edinburgh, 1645, in the midst of a massive plague. The Black Death (I think - a separate outbreak from the one in the 14th century), but the people are dying way too fast - hours, instead of days. That, and there's ghosts of the dead walking around, and the mysterious Night Doctor is visiting the families of the victims.

The book has a lot of Scottish dialogue in it, and I'm sorry, nothing against the Scotts, but it only serves to slow things down. It doesn't even really make sense, since the TARDIS's translation field should be automatically translating the language to the characters, and by extension, the reader. The identity of the Night Doctor and what's causing the existence of the ghosts is actually a nice twist, but it's not enough to really elevate this novel. For me, at the end of the day, just a "meh."
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 4, 2014
8,293
1,393
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
RWBY: Volume 3 (3/5)

Yes, I skipped Volume 2, yes, it's been ages since I've read Volume 1, no, I don't care.

Anyway, usual fuss. Team Kangaruby hunts down evil creatures, and ends up fighting the White Fang, who want to blow up a city, and lure Grimm in. Oh, and there's a school dance in the early chapters, with all the cliches you'd expect, but of course, the later chapters have cliches too, because this is Kangaruby.

This gets a 3 because the actual artwork for said fights is actually pretty decent, but otherwise, meh.
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 4, 2014
8,293
1,393
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
Read some stuff:

Doctor Who: Defender of the Daleks (3/5)

Navigators of Dune (3/5)

Legion: Lies of the Beholder (2/5)

Deltora Quest: Cavern of the Fear (3/5)
 

Agema

You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver
Legacy
Mar 3, 2009
8,286
5,654
118
It occurs to me I haven't updated this with anything for ages. With me doing much less commuting, I've done much less reading anyway, but...

The Broken God (Gareth Hanrahan) - Fantasy of the rogue/thief kind. Third in a series. It's okay.
The Fall of Babel (Josiah Bancroft) - Fantasy; 4th and last of The Books of Babel. Probably the weakest of the series, but the series is just about the best fantasy of the last few years.
God of Night (Tom Lloyd) - Fantasy, 4th (and last?) of The God Fragments. Pretty decent fantasy military squad actioner.
Map's Edge (David Hair) - Totally passable quest fantasy, first in a series about some guy trying to liberate his homeland by finding great magic.
Bear Head (Adrian Tchaikovsky) - SF, pretty good yarn about the digitised mind of a sentient bear out to save people from a scumbag. Set after his novel Dogs of War, but not really a sequel
Priest of Gallows (Peter McLean) - The continuing saga (3rd in the series?) of fantasy Peaky Blinders.

Probably missed a few out. You'll live.
 

TheMysteriousGX

Elite Member
Legacy
Sep 16, 2014
5,889
4,063
118
Country
United States
DaiDaiDark continues to be weird, Love Me For Who I Am, gets pretty fucking dark, and Witch Hat Atelier stays amazing in all ways



Gonna start in on Lesbian Space Necromancers Gideon the Ninth. Heard nothing but good things, though guessing what genre shelf it was on was a fun mini game. I figured necromancer would take precedence over space.
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 4, 2014
8,293
1,393
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
Read some stuff:

-Toy Story (2009): 3/5

-Disney's Toy Story: 2/5

-Halo: Retribution: 3/5

In case you're wondering about the Toy Story stuff, I'm currently doing a TS story for FFN, and while looking up stuff on the wiki, realized that a) the Toy Story comics exist, and b) I'll need to rewrite some stuff to make it fit better into canon. So managed to track them down. The 2009 comic series is okay, but is bizzarely set between the first and second films, which means that the writers have kind of shot themselves in the foot when it comes to characters. That, and the stories vary in quality, from average, to one that goes against the themes of the first film. But, it did technically give me the info I needed.

"Disney's Toy Story" is just a still-comic based on the first film. It's worthless - the stills don't even properly sync, and nothing new is added.

Halo: Retribution is another Halo novel by Troy Denning, and it's got all his tells - excessive description of everything, with little else.
 

Drathnoxis

Artificial Person
Legacy
Sep 23, 2010
4,204
966
118
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
-Disney's Toy Story: 2/5



"Disney's Toy Story" is just a still-comic based on the first film. It's worthless - the stills don't even properly sync, and nothing new is added.
Why does it get two stars then?
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 4, 2014
8,293
1,393
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
Why does it get two stars then?
For the reasons I said. It's just stills from the movie, and they aren't even arranged properly. It's lazy, at best, and doesn't add anything on its own.
 

Drathnoxis

Artificial Person
Legacy
Sep 23, 2010
4,204
966
118
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
For the reasons I said. It's just stills from the movie, and they aren't even arranged properly. It's lazy, at best, and doesn't add anything on its own.
I'm surprised you rated it so highly. What does it take to score a one from you?